RTX64 and RTX transform Microsoft Windows into a real-time operating system (RTOS)
WALTHAM, MA (October 28, 2013) – IntervalZero today released Service Pack 1 for RTX64 2013, the 64-bit version of its hard real-time software, which provides the first direct access to a larger range of memory through 64-bit addressing natively in Microsoft Windows.
Real-time applications running on 64-bit Windows with RTX64 can access 128GB of non-paged memory, depending on actual mapped physical RAM size. By comparison 32-bit Windows 7 has a non-paged memory limitation of 2GB. Overall, 64-bit Windows’ 512GB of physical memory dwarfs the 4GB physical memory limitation in 32-bit Windows.
“RTX64’s larger range of memory, which is visible and accessible concurrently from multiple cores in a symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) configuration, represents a first for the Windows RTOS world,” said IntervalZero CEO Jeffrey Hibbard. “The value of increased, directly accessible real-time memory within Windows, and the resulting superior performance distinguishes RTX64 from virtualization alternatives and 32-bit based RTOS solutions.”
Importantly, Windows with RTX64 will create new opportunities for developers worldwide that are designing sophisticated, intelligent systems in markets as diverse as industrial automation, digital audio and medical.
Hibbard said, “RTX64 can deliver functionality at price points previously unattainable in Windows environments. Vision systems, as an example, are in high demand in many industrial uses, but until now they have been extremely expensive to develop. With RTX64 on Windows they become much more feasible.
“Just as PLCs did 10 years ago, and EtherCAT did five years ago, RTX64 on Windows will drive competitive advantages. A good example is that real-time network standards become accessible – AVB, GigE Vision and Ravenna. For sure, medical markets, given bigger fields of view, will innovate; motion systems will see advances as well, through more degrees of freedom for small form factor assembly.”
Hibbard also noted that for simulation models requiring both large memory pools and real time, SMP-enabled RTX64 can execute those models on dedicated RTX cores, isolating real-time functions on separate cores while also eliminating the need for expensive dedicated hardware.
IntervalZero’s RTX64 and RTX transform Windows into a real-time operating system (RTOS) and RTX64 can scale from 1 to 63 cores for dedicated real-time processing.
For complex, connected embedded systems that seek to take advantage of Windows’ world-class HMI and that also require determinism and hard-real time, RTX64 and RTX provide an RTOS that is tightly integrated with Windows. Where Windows provides timers with a maximum resolution – smallest granularity – of 1000 μs (1 millisecond), RTX64/RTX lower this to 1 μs where supported by the hardware.
Notably, RTX64 and RTX extend the Windows operating system’s capabilities – without altering or modifying the Windows Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) – to deliver determinism and hard real- time performance without relying on latency-inherent virtualization approaches or unnecessarily complicated inter-process communications schemes.
RTX64 is a key component of the IntervalZero RTOS Platform that comprises x86 and x64 multicore multiprocessors, Windows, and real-time Ethernet (e.g. EtherCAT or PROFINET) to outperform real-time hardware such as DSPs and radically reduce the development costs for systems that require determinism or hard real-time.
Highlights of the RTX64 SP1 release include:
- The addition of real-time kernel (RTK) support allowing Windows drivers to communicate with real-time applications. This functionality gives developers greater flexibility within their application design. Developers can choose to combine Windows processes (.EXE), Windows kernel drivers (.SYS), real-time processes (.RTSS) and real-time dynamic link libraries (.RTDLLs) to build applications that can take advantage of the full feature set of the Windows operating system.
- The addition of a control panel allows for configuration of the RTX64 subsystem. The control panel integrates seamlessly into the Windows control panel area, making RTX64 functionality searchable and configurable using standard Windows search capabilities.
- Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 build support is available. An application wizard is available to allow for quick real-time application creation with selectable common code templates using objects such as events or interrupts. IntervalZero has also verified that a subset of the Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 C Runtime library can be used within real-time applications, allowing developers to use standard C Runtime functionality within their Windows and real-time processes
- A real-time network driver – RtIGB – supporting the Intel® i210 Ethernet controllers is now available for use with the RT-TCP/IP stack. This driver expands the set of network adapters supported by default within RTX64.
- Support has been added for Windows 8 and Windows Embedded Standard 8.
- A new Latency View tool allows users to view and compare system timer response latencies on multiple cores at the same time. Users can also add loads to stress the system to determine if it can meet their application’s real-time needs.
IntervalZero is a Microsoft Embedded Gold Partner and was recognized as a leading Windows Embedded Partner worldwide in 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009. IntervalZero is a member of the Intel Embedded Alliance and RTX’s value in digital signal processing is featured on Intel’s web site.